Cervicitis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Cervicitis: causes, symptoms and treatment

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THE cervicitis is an inflammation located in the cervix usually caused by allergies or sexually transmitted diseases. Sometimes cervicitis is asymptomatic, but it can cause bleeding or vaginal discharge, increased urination and pain during intercourse. To treat cervicitis, it is necessary to fight its cause. Antibiotics are prescribed in case of bacterial infection.

  • Causes of cervicitis

  • Types of cervicitis

  • Risk factors for cervicitis

  • Symptoms of cervicitis

  • Diagnosis of cervicitis

  • Treatment of cervicitis

  • Risks of cervicitis

  • Cervicitis prevention

Causes of cervicitis

In some cases, the exact cause of cervicitis is unclear. Most cases are caused by infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases, spermicides (chemicals in spermicides can cause the cervix to become inflamed), vaginal trauma (using diaphragms or vibrators) and sexual intercourse (post-coital cervicitis).

Types of cervicitis

Cervicitis can be sharp – when it receives the name of endocervicitis – or chronic. Acute cervicitis, caused in most cases by an infection, usually presents symptoms and leads the woman to seek treatment. Chronic cervicitis occurs when an asymptomatic cervicitis remains untreated for a long time. In this case, there is a risk of infertility and other complications for the woman.

Risk factors for cervicitis

There are some factors that increase the risk of developing cervical infections. THE age increases the risk of cervicitis due to falling estrogen levels in older women. Vaginal showers can alter the normal balance of bacterial flora in the vagina and cause infections. Having multiple sexual partners, previous sexually transmitted infections and unprotected sex also increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Symptoms of cervicitis

Cervicitis is sometimes asymptomaticthat is, it does not cause symptoms. When they are present, the most common symptoms are itchy vagina, vaginal bleeding between periods or after intercourse, smelly greenish or yellowish vaginal discharge, pain during sex, pain when urinating, abdominal pain and fever.

Diagnosis of cervicitis

Cervicitis is diagnosed through a pelvic exam done by a gynecologist . Sometimes, other complementary tests are needed, such as blood, urine, or culture of vaginal secretions. The diagnosis of the disease, however, is quite difficult to be made due to the high rate of asymptomatic cases. Because of this, it is very important to go to the gynecologist at least once a year for exams.

Treatment of cervicitis

Treatment depends on the cause of the inflammation although the use of antibiotics it is done in most cases. In case of chronic or persistent cervicitis, surgery may be necessary to removal of the cervix.

Risks of cervicitis

Cervicitis caused by a sexually transmitted disease can cause uterine infection or pelvic inflammatory disease. Even with treatment, it can become chronic at certain times. In case of pregnancy, the infection can cause premature birth. Cervicitis is also associated with changes in cervical tissue and an increased risk of cervical cancer.

Cervicitis prevention

Avoid products that cause irritation, do not use vaginal showers unless directed by doctors, do not use spermicides if you have had problems with this type of product in the past, use condoms during sex and double your attention in case of sexual intercourse with carriers of any STD, under treatment or not.

Photo: © SVIATLANA SHEINA – Shutterstock.com

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